Campagnone Common (Lawrence, MA)

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The Lawrence Common, now known as the Campagnone Memorial Common, is located in the middle of north Lawrence on 17.5 acres of reservation land.  It is bound by Haverhill, Jackson, Common, and Lawrence Streets. In a town meeting of April 17, 1848, the town voted to from a committee of five who would confer with the Essex Company about the conditions under which the Essex Company would deed the land to the town.  The names of the individuals were Sam W. Stevens, Ivan Stevens, Abiel Stevens, Jr., M.D. Ross, and A. D. Blanchard.  The company decided to give the land to the town with a number of conditions that concerned the character and upkeep of the park.  The Essex Company deeded the land to the town of Lawrence on October 1, 1848.  Much of the area was a large sand heap before becoming a public park.  Other parts were sown with buckwheat and plowed under for fertilizer.  The northeast corner was given over to a cabbage patch at one time.  The eastern strip along Jackson Street was an alder swamp with a brook running through it.  The southeastern corner was the boundary line of the Gage farm that stretched along to the east.

In 1874-75 the original fence was removed and granite curbing was put in.  A goldfish pond was created in August of 1857 and replaced by a concrete basin or artificial pond in 1914.  The Soldier and Sailor’s Monument was erected in the Common in 1881 in honor of the Civil War dead.  As a result of the Flag Day parade of 1912 (following the textile strike of that year), a permanent and elaborate flagstaff was erected on the common and was dedicated on Patriot’s Day April 20, 1914.  A bandstand was built in June of 1904.

Just after World War II, in 1946, the Lawrence Common was renamed the Campagnone Common as a memorial to the Campagnone brothers who died in the war.  Albert, Carmen, and Bernard were the sons of Stephen and Maria Campagnone.  The Italian-American community erected a granite monument to their memory.

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The Common was reconstructed as a part of the development of Lawrence Heritage State Park in 1981.  Existing walks were repaved.  Non-historical and non-essential paths were eliminated.  The wading pool was reconstructed to allow for winter flooding in order to make a winter skating area.  Dead trees were removed and new ones planted.  Historical markers were installed.  New and better lighting was installed.  Finally a fountain was constructed as a memorial to Robert Frost (1874-1963) at the entrance to the plaza across from City Hall.  It was designed to capture the mood of his poem entitled “Brook in the City.”

Other monuments on the Common include the Leonard Bernstein stage, The Spanish-American War monument, and the World War II monument.  The Boy Scouts of Essex County presented a copy of the Statue of Liberty to the City of Lawrence on July 5, 1950.  It is now in the lobby of the Lawrence Public Library.

The Library owns the minutes of the Committee on the Lawrence Common (1849-1852) and a variety of pictures and videotapes.

6 Responses

  1. […] miles north of Boston and just shy of the New Hampshire border.  The brick building straddles the Campagnone Common, is just around the corner from City Hall, a stone’s throw from the police station, the […]

  2. […] By the fourth annual report the City had added Storrow Park, Stockton Park, and Amphitheatre Park. Campagnone CommonDen Rock Park Gagnon Park Highland Park Misserville Park Mt. Vernon Park Mullaney Park […]

  3. […] Bolis Brothers Paul Bongiorno Lionel B. Bourassa Lucien Bourgoin Frank A. Cain Andrew Callahan Campagnone Brothers Albert J. Carter, Jr. Jeremiah W. Cronin Demonaco Brothers Diodati Brothers Americo DiZazzo Albert […]

  4. […] by Haverhill, Lawrence, Jackson, and Common Streets.  The park is 17 acres and is now officially Campagnone Common named after three brothers who lost their lives during World War II. On the Common are two areas […]

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